Sherri Shepherd Biography
Claim to Fame: Talk show host (The View) and actress (30 Rock)
Date of Birth: April 22, 1967
Diabetes Type: 2
Quote: "I've always liked the fact that I could make people laugh at crazy stuff that has happened to me. If it makes you feel better at me falling down the stairs...then I'm going to do it."
Emmy award-winning talk show host, actress, and comedian Sherri Shepherd was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois – the oldest of three sisters – on April 22, 1967. Her mother, Laverne, was a house cleaner while her father, Lawrence, was a food service manager at a fast food restaurant. Shepherd's mother died from diabetes complications when she was 41 years old; Shepherd was just 23 at the time and didn't realize what her mother had died from until she saw the official death certificate.
Although Shepherd always wanted to take up a performing career, she moved to Los Angeles during high school while contemplating a career as a mortician, but decided to take a job as a legal secretary instead. In 1990, Shepherd started her stand-up comedy career while supporting herself as a legal secretary in Beverly Hills. Five years later, she took a leap of faith and quit her full-time job to make it big in Hollywood. She became a regular on the WB series, Cleghorne; however, the show only lasted one season and Shepherd was forced to go back to her secretarial job to pay the bills.
Shepherd was married and divorced seven years later to comedian Jeff Tarpley. In 2005, at just 25 weeks into her pregnancy, she gave birth to their son, Jeffrey Charles Tarpley. Shepherd miscarried his twin. Baby Jeffrey weighed only one pound, ten ounces, the result of a high-risk pregnancy after in vitro fertilization. He had an array of health problems ranging from a hole in his heart to brain bleeds. The day she went to the hospital to disconnect the baby's ventilator, the doctors informed Shepherd that a serious hole in Jeffrey's intestines had healed itself. After several months in the neonatal intensive care unit, Jeffrey was allowed home. Now a happy, healthy, yet delayed little boy, Shepherd and her son share the same birthday.
After Shepherd's personal life started to look brighter, she hit another roadblock. She was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Shepherd has since changed her lifestyle to a healthier one. Initially losing 22 pounds, even P. Diddy commented on her amazing weight loss. She calls her strategy the "Lose-Weight-or-We'll-Cut-Off-Your-Foot Diet." Now forty pounds lighter, Shepherd shares her secrets with others (most recently in Fitness Magazine) in an effort to get other diabetes sufferers to take back control of their lives. Shephered went from size 16 to size 4.
Shepherd's most well-known role is as Ramona Platt on Less Than Perfect and as co-host of ABC's The View, but she also stars and executive produces a new Lifetime series, SHERRI (which premiered in October 2009) and remains as Tracy Morgan's character's wife, Angie Jordan, on the Emmy award-winning series 30 Rock. She has also appeared on Friends, Suddenly Susan, Everybody Loves Raymond, and The Jamie Foxx Show, among others. Shepherd is not only a talk show host, but has been on many talk shows herself, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel; she also holds the record for being the most booked guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. In addition to television, Shepherd made her way to the big screen, starring in films such as Guess Who, Cellular, Beauty Shop, and hit feature film, Precious, to name a few. Her latest work has involved voiceover in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
Shepherd continues to perform regularly at the Laugh Factory, the Comedy Store, and the Improv. In 2009, Shepherd released her autobiography, Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Give Herself a Break, which was launched by Grand Central Publishing and highlights diabetes throughout. Shepherd and her co-hosts on The View have recently been named number 11 on Forbes Most Influential Women in Media list.
Reviewed by dLife staff 12/13.
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